Improving Wireless Link Simulation Using Multilevel Markov Models

Ankur Kamthe, Miguel A. Carreira-Perpinan, Alberto E. Cerpa


Modeling the behavior of 802.15.4 links is a non-trivial problem because 802.15.4 links experience different level of dynamics at short and long time scales. This makes the design of a suitable model that combines the different dynamics at different timescales a non-trivial problem. We propose a novel multilevel approach, the M & M model, involving Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) and Mixtures of Multivariate Bernoullis (MMBs) for modeling the long and short time scale behavior of wireless links from 802.15.4 testbeds. We characterize the synthetic traces generated from our model of the wireless link in terms of the mean and variance of the packet reception rates from the data traces, comparison of distributions of run lengths and conditional packet delivery functions of successive packet receptions (1's) and losses (0's). Our results show that when compared to the Closest-fit Pattern Matching model in TOSSIM, the proposed modeling approach is able to mimic the behavior of the data traces quite closely, with difference in packet reception rates of the empirical and simulated traces of less than 1.9% on average and 6.6% in the worst case. Moreover, the simulated links from our proposed approach were able to account for long runs of 1's and 0's as observed in empirical data traces.




Ankur Kamthe, Miguel A. Carreira-Perpinan, Alberto E. Cerpa, "Improving Wireless Link Simulation Using Multilevel Markov Models," ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN), 10, (1), pp. 17:1--17:28, ACM, New York, NY, USA, December, 2013.


  author =       "Ankur Kamthe and Miguel A. Carreira-Perpinan and
                 Alberto E. Cerpa",
  title =        "Improving Wireless Link Simulation Using Multilevel
                 Markov Models",
  journal =      "ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN)",
  volume =       "10",
  number =       "1",
  pages =        "17:1--17:28",
  month =        dec,
  year =         "2013",
  issue_date =   "November 2013",
  ISSN =         "1550-4859",
  articleno =    "17",
  doi =          "10.1145/2529991",
  acmid =        "2529991",
  publisher =    "ACM",
  address =      "New York, NY, USA",
  note =         "Extended version of the SenSys 2009 conference paper",
  keywords =     "802.15.4 low-power wireless networks, Simulation,
                 hidden Markov models, mixture of multivariate
                 Bernoulli, wireless channel model",
  URL =          "",


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